Do Electric Dryers Produce Carbon Monoxide?

If you think your electric dryer can produce carbon monoxide, which might lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, the article below will cover the risks, and some faq’s in detail.

Without a doubt, breathing carbon monoxide can be fatal. That is why most people use these electric dryers with some uncertainty. You must be doing the same. And you may hesitate to buy an electric dryer only because of the carbon monoxide gas issue.

In general, there is no need to be concerned about carbon monoxide if you are using an electric dryer. Electric dryers don’t produce any carbon monoxide at all. However, you’ll have to worry about carbon monoxide emissions when using a gas dryer.

Read the below article and get a clear answer.

Can Electric Dryers Produce Carbon Monoxide?

If you are planning to invest in an electric dryer and are still trying to make up your mind because of the CO issue, here is a simple and straight answer.

Electric dryers don’t produce carbon monoxide gas. So, if you are worried about carbon monoxide poisoning, you can lay those doubts to rest. Using electric dryers is completely healthy for you and your surroundings.

To understand this, first, you should know about the working mechanism of electric dryers.

How Do Electric Dryers Work?

An electric dryer works by heating the ceramic or metal element—this heating process is completed via flowing electricity. The ceramic or metal element looks similar to large coils or the heating element of the electric oven. So, there is no use for gas or oil burning in an electric dryer, which means no carbon monoxide production.

Carbon monoxide only can be produced by gas and oil-burning process. So, if you have such an appliance at home, you may have to take the necessary actions. But gas dryers can produce carbon monoxide, and I’ll discuss that later in the article.

Quick Tip: Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas. Because of that, most people call CO a silent killer, and the incomplete combustion of fuel generates CO.

A Few Things that You Should Worry About While Using an Electric Dryer

However, there are a few things that you have to worry about while using an electric dryer. For instance, when electric dryers operate, they produce moist air and lint. With time, the above combination will build up and cause serious damage to your property.

Hence, to avoid all this, only operate your electric dryer in a properly ventilated area. It will control the moisture and burning lint built up significantly.

Is Carbon Monoxide Bad for Your Health?

Yes, indeed, breathing carbon monoxide can lead to serious health issues. When exposed to carbon monoxide gas, you’ll become sick and show symptoms like the flu. If not treated soon as possible, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.

Quick Tip: According to the CDC, 400 people die annually from unintentional CO poisoning.

Issue That Comes with Gas Dryers

All gas-operated appliances at your home can emit carbon monoxide, including gas dryers. So, if you are using a gas dryer, you should be extra careful. And make sure the room is adequately ventilated.

Also, maintain all of your gas appliances properly. With proper maintenance, you can prevent the carbon monoxide-producing process. For instance, check the furnace’s heating conductor every year.

With that in mind, these gas-operated and non-gas-operated appliances can produce carbon monoxide at your home:

  • Clothes dryers
  • Furnaces or boilers
  • Water heaters
  • Gas stoves and ovens
  • Fireplace (both wood and gas)
  • Grills, power tools, generators, lawn equipment
  • Wood stoves
  • Motor vehicles
  • Tobacco smoke

Quick Tip: The carbon monoxide-producing sources are not always gas-powered appliances. For instance, even a wood stove can produce it too.

How Do Gas Dryers Produce Carbon Monoxide?

Understanding the process of producing carbon monoxide in gas dryers will help you avoid dangers. The gas is a byproduct of the fossil fuel combustion process. Hence, when the gas dryer uses its gas burner, the byproduct will always be inside the dryer.

Most often, these appliances use propane as their fossil fuel. Burning of propane produces carbon monoxide.

Using a Gas Dryer – Risky or Not?

Using a gas dryer comes with some risks. But you can avoid all this by properly maintaining your gas dryer. Usually, any carbon monoxide gas is produced by the gas dryer directed to the dryer vent system. The dryer vent should direct the CO to the outside.

As you can understand, you should send one end of the vent to the outside and the other end connects to the gas dryer’s exhaust outlet.

Should I Keep the Electric Dryer Vent Outside?

Not necessarily. As you already know, electric dryers don’t produce any carbon monoxide, and you’ll be safe from any fatal outcomes. But it is always better to direct the dryer vent system outside, whether it is an electric or gas dryer.

Precautions to Take

Here are some precautions you should follow while using electric or gas dryers.

  • Place the dryer in a properly ventilated area.
  • Maintain the dryer regularly.
  • Always check the vent system for any clogged items.
  • Regular dryer vent cleaning is a must.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector inside the dryer room.
  • If you are using a gas dryer, check the dryer’s flame. The color should be blue.

Quick Tip: A clogged vent can cause a lot of trouble for you. For instance, it will block the hot air from escaping and cause lint to catch fire. This situation can occur in both electric and gas dryers.

Wrapping Up

Now you can invest in an electric dryer without any distrust. But remember, even when you use an electric dryer, proper maintenance is necessary. If not, the electric dryer might cause some trouble. However, using an electric dryer is a far safer choice than using a gas dryer.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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